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glad to have you on this edition of "newsline." it's friday, july 8th, 9:00 a.m. in tokyo. i'm catherine kobayashi. the operator of the fukushima daiichi nuclear power plant will boost its efforts to monitor airborne radioactive substances around nuclear reactor buildings. with further measurements, they hope to find the source and prevent further leakage. it's believed that dust containing radioactive substances and contaminated steam leaking from reactors is still being released into the air. tokyo electric power company has been measuring the levels regularly since mid march. recently, however, detection
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became difficult. this may have been due to the approximate one-kilometer distance between monitoring posts and the reactor buildings. tepco decided to step up its monitoring and take measurements at additional locations near the number one to number four reactor buildings. the plant operator will also use remote controlled robots to measure the level of radioactivity inside reactor buildings. tepco says it needs to inject nitrogen into one of the reactors at fukushima daiichi to prevent a hydrogen explosion, but the work isn't going well. tepco tried to examine the number three reactor building on wednesday to see whether it could connect nitrogen injection pipes to the containment very willing. it ultzed aobot mounted camera because high radioactivity in the reactor building means workers can't stay there long, but the robot couldn't reach the necessary part of the containment vessel. the schedule for stabilizing the plant shows that tepco needs to
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inject nitrogen into the number three reactor's containment vessel by july 17th. tepco is studying whether to send workers or a robot into the reactor building to examine the containment vessel again. it's already injected nitrogen into the containment vessels of the number one and two reactors. time for "newsline's" weekly segment "nuclear watch," our look at the latest information and analysis of the ongoing crisis at the fukushima daiichi plant. nearly four months after the disaster, two-thirds of japan's nuclear reactors are out of action. some plants suspended operations after the quake and tsunami, others were closed for regular inspections and have yet to reopen. despite the urgent need for more power there's no prospect of restarting the halted reactors any time soon. there's an intense debate on
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whether japan should abandon nuclear power. earlier this week a town in southwestern japan gave its approval for two of its reactors to be restarted but only three days later the decision was recalled. on monday the mayor of genkai town in saga preeffect tour told the operator of the genkai nuclear plant that it could restart two reactors. they have idle since routine inspections were completed in april, but on wednesday the central government announced it will conduct so-called stress tests at all nuclear power plants in japan. these tests will assess the ability to withstand severe accidents. >> translator: prime minister kan said the government will conduct stress tests as a condition for resumption. it made my decision to resume operation sound pointless. it made me very angry. >> the genkai town assembly on thursday approved the mayor's decision to revoke his approval
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for restarting the two reactors. earlier the central government held a meeting for saga prefecture residents to explain safety measures, the first briefing of its kind to be held in an area that hosts a nuclear plant. the meeting was broadcast live on tv and the internet. >> translator: how long can they last? can they be destroyed by earthquakes and tsunamis? >> translator: it is our duty to take measures to protect the plants. >> translator: the government's explanation was too technical and was hard to understand. ♪ >> reporter: the meeting drew criticism because it wasn't open to all residents and it only lasted one and a half hours. the government will hold another gathering in saga prefecture on friday, this time 550 residents will be allowed to take part. the restart of all suspended
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reactors in japan will be postponed until the stress tests are completed. earlier michio i can anyma spoke to shinya's kutsukahche. >> translator: the accident at the fukushima daiichi nuclear power plant is fueled especially in europe, the anti-nuclear movement. it has triggered global repercussions. being that the accident occurred here in japan it's not an easy task to restart the power plants. because the fukushima daiichi nuclear power plant crisis has yet to be resolved, local governments have not been able to eradicate concerns over the safety of nuclear power. this map shows the nuclear power plants in japan. a total of 54 plants are located along the coastline, a feature unique to gentleman fjapan. this is done to secure cooling water for the reactor from the ocean but the fukushima accident has raised fears about tsunamis.
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right now 35 plants are not in operation, which is two-thirds of the total number. some were damaged by the march 11th earthquake and tsunami. however, many have been suspended for regular inspections. 11 plants will be finished with their inspections by next month and will be ready to operate again. but local governments have not agreed to the resumption, so resumptions have been stalled. >> translator: after the accident, what kind of safety measures have been taken? >> translator: emergency safety measures were implemented at all nuclear power plants so that even when power is lost completely, which is what happened in fukushima, corrective action can be taken before the nuclear fuel starts to melt. at the genkai nuclear power plant, they have a power-generating vehicle to provide a secure power supply. the vehicle is permanently
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stationed within the nuclear power plant premise to act as back-up power in case power is lost. in the long run, other more fundamental tsunami countermeasures will be undertaken. the government has given assurance that the nuclear power plants in the country pose no safety risks due to these emergency safety countermeasures. >> translator: but what i can't understand is that if there's no safety issue, why is there a need to carry out the stress tests? the government says with the emergency safety measures being taken now, nuclear reactors are safe. but, in order to further secure local residents' peace of mind, it says it will carry out stress test as additional measure. but prime minister naoto kan has hinted that a new set of rules, including stress tests, should
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be established before deciding on resuming operations. so the government officials are not necessarily united on this matter. because of this, saga governor yasushi furukawa had to postpone his decision on resuming the operation. other local governments that host nuclear plants are bewildered by the national government's attitude. >> translator: so what's the prospect of the offline nuclear power plants resuming operation? >> translator: it's totally unclear now. stress tests are now being implemented by the eu after the accident in fukushima. but how and when the tests will be carried out in japan are yet to be decided. currently in east japan, power restrictions are being imposed on major electricity users such as factories to cut 50% of their power use compared to their peak last year.
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this is raising concerns about its negative impact on the japanese economy. even the nuclear reactors that are now in operation are scheduled to stop one after another by spring next year for regular inspections. the government should clearly explain how it will secure safety of nuclear power plants and at the same time safely supply power. >> and that was nhk world's shinya kutsukake. "newsline" is launching a new segment this friday, and you won't want to miss it. "the road ahead" will examine the impact of the march 11th earthquake and tsunami and japan's efforts to rebuild. that's "the road ahead" every friday night at 8:00 and 11:00 japan time. ai uchida joins us now the latest in business news. headlines out of europe today? >> that's right, today all week and today is no exception. let's start off with a few
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stories from the ecb, head of the european central bank has indicated that he's against the eurozo eurozone's extra bailout plan for greece which entail psi or private sector involvement. on thursday, the central bank's president jean-claude trichet told reporters there's no change in the bank's view and strongly against any measures that would be considered a default. >> our position is clear in the case of portugal, we are waiving the threshold. in the case of greece, where we have psi, where we have these debate on the nature of psi we say no to selective default, full stop. >> members are considering a plan to ask private sector investors about a voluntary rollover of greek debts, this would prevent funds from flowing out of the country. this comes at a time when a leading credit rating agency has
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said the new bailout plan would still likely be considered as a default. separately the ecb has raised its key interest rate by a quarter of a percentage point to dispel concerns about the inflation in the eurozone. this move brings the key rate to 1.5%. the central bank made the decision at its board meeting held in frankfurt, germany, ona. it's the second rate hike since mid-april, when the bank terminated its extremely low interest rate policy. this measure was adopted after the onset of the global financial crisis back in 2008. the latest hike comes as the inflation rate in the eurozone has been exceeding the bank's target of 2%. this is due to surging prices of crude oil and food. japan's current account surplus made a decline for the third month in a row due to the march 11th disaster. the finance ministry said in a
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preliminary report on friday that the surplus for the month totalled about 590 billion yen or about $9.3 billion, that's a plunge of 51.7% in yen terms from a year earlier. the trade balance resulted in a deficit for a second month in a row which stands at over $9.5 billion. however, the income balance was up 57.5%, helping the overall account surplus stay in surplus. let's check on the markets now. the dow ended higher for a second day in a row, after positive private jobs data boosted market sentiment. to see how markets are trading here in tokyo this friday morning, we go to ramin mellegard who is at the tokyo stock exchange. ramin, good morning. how are tokyo stocks kicking off? >> reporter: very good morning to you, ai and we're seeing the nikkei here surge higher over 100 points actually in the first few minutes of trading and the topix trading higher as well. you mentioned private jobs data coming out in the u.s.
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yesterday, a little bit better than many analysts had expected, and that's ahead of the key jobs data which is due out later today. that gave a bit of a boost to markets, helped the dow ending higher, also the text-heavy nasdaq notched up an eighth straight day of gains. the european central bank as you also mentioned there, helped to lead markets higher, raising rates, that took a little bit of a negative sentiment away from the markets, which had been weighed down by those eurozone debt problems and actually looking at the euro currently, it took some pressure off that as well, currently trading around the mid 116 yen levels, and that's, compares to the mid 115 yen levels just a couple of days ago when portugal's credit rating was lowered to below investment grade so the euro gaining there a touch. we're also going to keep track of utility sector stocks specifically power companies and that's following yesterday's
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news that the government's planning to have a lot of stress tests done for nuclear plants and that resulted in the selling of some of the key stocks within those sectors. however, the overall market focus is going to be on the u.s. jobs data due out later today, so trading may be a little bit range bound ahead of those numbers but we're going to see if the nikkei can close out the day above 10,000, which is broke above this week, and we're going to see if they can close above 10,000 for the third day in a row. we'll see how trading progresses throughout the day. ai, back to you in the studio. >> thanks a lot, ramin, that was market report eer ramin mellega from the tokyo stock exchange. now let's take a look at some other market figures.
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that's all for new in business news. back to catherine. >> thanks very much, ai. the much anticipated space shutt shuttle "atlantis" is scheduled to take off on friday, marking an end to 30 years of the u.s. space program. the launch could be delayed due to unfavorable weather conditions, but nasa's continuing with preparations. nhk world's noriko kudo has more details from florida. >> reporter: "atlantis," the 56-meter shuttle is on the launch pad at the kennedy space center and undergoing inspections. the space shuttle program provided the world's first spacecraft capable of making numerous round trips to space.
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but due to the enormous expense costing hundreds of millions of dollars per mission the u.s. government decided to bring the program to end, 30 years after its first voyage. meanwhile visitors from all over the united states have gathered around here to watch the historic launch. >> and i came here and watched the first apollo blast off, and i watched several of the other apollo and this is just always the place i came. brings back good earlier memories. >> reporter: despite thunderstorms and unfavorable weather, many people are patiently waiting in tents and campers. nasa officials expect nearly 1 million people from around the world, including tourists and reporters, to witness the launch. nasa says there is a 70% chance that lift-off will be delayed,
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as thunderstorms are focused near the space center. it says preparations will continue as planned. if everything goes as scheduled, "atlantis" will lift off at 11:26 local time on july the 8th. noriko kudo, nhk world, kennedy space center, florida. japan's national police agency has asked chinese authorities to help them investigate a series of cyber attacks that occurred last year. the agency website was temporarily shut down in september after receiving large amounts of data transmissions during a 13-hour period. upon investigating the origin of the transmissions, the agency identified 28 from overseas. 25 originated in china. the japanese defense ministry and coast guard websites came under similar cyber attacks around the same time. several days beforehand a chinese computer hackers' group
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called for cyber attacks on chinese government beb sites to protest a maritime incident between japanese patrol ships and chinese fishing boat in the east china sea. they are working with authorities to find those responsible and asked chinese authorities to prevent future attacks. china's government dismissed media reports that the chicago's former president jiang zemin has died calling them just rumors. the 84-year-old jiang's absence from a ceremony in beijing july 1st raised speculation that his health was worsening. the important event marked the 90th anniversary of the founding of china's governing communist party. on wednesday media in hong kong reported that jiang had died. china's official xinhua news agency quoted what it called authoritative sources saying reports of jiang's death were just rumors. chinese foreign ministry hong
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lei said the agency fully explained the issue. he refused to take any questions. china has stepped up its control of information about jiang's health by blocking access to websites containing his name. the u.s. government says it cannot resume food aid to north korea without a reliable monitoring system to ensure that the food goes to the people who need it. state department spokesperson victoria nuland said on wednesday that the aid for the north has failed to reach the intended recipients. >> it's very much on our minds that we cannot waste american taxpayers' dollars by providing aid that goes to the wrong people. if we're going to do it, it needs to go to the people in need. >> the u.s. suspended food aid to north korea in 2009. the u.s. government sent a special envoy and delegation to the north in may to determine whether to restart the program. it has yet to reach a decision. the united nations is appealing
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for member countries to provide food aid to north korea. the european union will send about $14.5 million worth of food to the country. a desert in chile has been hit with unusual heavy snowfall despite its fame as the driest place in the world. up to 80 centimeters of snow has been recorded so far this week in the atacama desert in northern chile. the snow stranded a bus carrying 36 people who were rescued by soldiers on wednesday after 48-hour ordeal. china is the world's largest copper producer with many mines located in the desert or rather chile is the world's largest copper producer with many mines located in the desert. the snow suspended digging in the mines sparking concerns over a rise in copper prices. time to check on some of the stories we've gathered from broadcasters around asia. we begin with this item sent by ddi india.
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at least 37 people were killed and more than 30 injured when a train rammed into a bus in utar pradesh on thursday. a senior police official said the bus was carrying 68 members of a wedding party. state-run indian railways carries around 14 million passengers every day, but has a patchy safety record due to aging infrastructure and insufficient safety measures. a fire at a coal mine in east china's shandong province left at least 28 miners missing. government officials say the 91 miners were trapped when an air compression device 255 meters underground caught fire on wednesday. rescue workers and firefighters have saved 63 of the miners, but thick smoke is hampering the operation. an investigation has been launched to find the cause of the accident.
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the iranian military concluded ten days of weapons drills on wednesday. the exercises were aimed attesting the efficacy of a number of surface-to-sea missiles. a military spokesman said the islamic revolutionary guard corps fired short and medium ranged missiles from the southern port of jask in the persian gulf. underground silos were also unveiled. the spokesman said the entire array of missiles used in the exercises was ready for deployment.
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and welcome to your weather update. let's look at the weather in east asia first off. plenty of rain to talk about. northeast china looking at the low pressure area that's been spreading showers. right below that we have the seasonal rain front today bringing rain towards the korean peninsula and into southeast china looking at the band forming here. looking wetter in parts of the korean peninsula and towards japan, heavier rain it is heading into northern sections of the country over the course of today. and down to the south, too, more rain coming up as well. that is pretty unsettled across the board here. as for temperatures on friday, 34 in beijing. 33 in hong kong. looking quite warm still. seoul, 27 for you. getting up to 33 in tokyo. it is going to be getting hot again today. over towards the americas, meanwhile, looking at the bright white cluster of clouds starting to develop, getting organized in the pacific, it is a tropical depression and a tropical storm in the making as well. within the next 24 hours or so, we could see this strengthen further into a tropical storm. luckily or hopefully we will continue to see that head out to sea. outer rain bands have been impacting much of the southwest coast of mexico. up towards the americas, we're
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looking at this long frontal boundary. then plenty of lows of developing it long it. it is going to be looking a lot wetter for the eastern half of the united states. looking at some heavy rain for parts of the mid-mississippi valley. then that will head on into areas along the coastline. just going to be looking unsettled. all the way up into eastern canada, too, there's another system working its way in. out west, not much drier either. all through the rockies and up into western canada more rain looking to develop. it will strengthen at times in areas of british columbia. slightly cooler in new york. 26 is your high. still hot in d.c. at 31. 32 in atlanta. 37 for houston. then looking at 42 degrees in phoenix. finally over towards europe. still talking about the low pressure over the british isles. this has not moved in the past couple days.
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we're looking at unsettled weather for the uk and ireland. also impacting sections of central europe as well. we've got this frontal system that's going to be bringing rains in towards denmark as well as spreading them over to the east, too. poland also a few showers today. and rain at times could get heavy into parts of germany. on toward denmark some warnings have been issued. you do want to watch out for that. showers will also spread into the scandinavian peninsula as well. to the east, unsettled still mainly across western russia. then things do stay dry in the southeast corner and it is hot for you. temperatures really shooting up here. budapest in at 32. belgrade at 35. athens coming in at 35 degrees as well. steamy conditions here. that's a look at your weather for now. here is your three-day outlook.
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our lead story this hour --
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the operator of the fukushima daiichi nuclear power plant will boost its efforts to monitor airborne radioactive substances around nuclear reactor buildings. with further measurements, they hope to find the source and prevent further leakage. it's believed that dust containing radioactive substances and contaminated steam leaking from reactors is still being released into the air. tokyo electric power company has been measuring the levels regularly since mid march. recently, however, detection became difficult. this may have been due to the approximate one-kilometer distance between monitoring posts and the reactor buildings. tepco decided to step up its monitoring and take measurements at additional locations near the number one to number four reactor buildings. the plant operator will also use remote controlled robots to measure the level of radioactivity inside reactor buildings. and that wraps up this edition of "newsline." i'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. thanks very much for joining us. we'll be back at the top of the next hour.
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PBS July 7, 2011 7:00pm-7:30pm PDT

News/Business. World events, business news and weather forecasts; broadcast in English. (CC) (Stereo)

TOPIC FREQUENCY Tokyo 9, China 7, Tepco 6, Fukushima Daiichi 5, U.s. 5, Jiang 4, Newsline 4, North Korea 3, Nasa 3, Nhk 3, Us 2, Looking 2, Catherine Kobayashi 2, Beijing 2, United States 2, Greece 2, Germany 2, Portugal 2, Florida 2, Japan 2
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